Can I File a Diminished Value Claim in Alabama?
Diminished value is the loss of a vehicle’s market value. Imagine a car is involved in an accident. Even if it was expertly repaired, most people would not pay the same price for a previously damaged vehicle that they would for a similar one with no history of significant repairs.
Alabama allows accident victims to pursue compensation for the diminished value of their vehicles. However, getting this compensation can be harder than it should be. At Stokes Stemle, LLC, we want you to understand how to file a diminished value claim and get the money you deserve.
What Is a Diminished Value Claim?
Carfax and other vehicle history companies make it easy for potential buyers to learn more about the car they are considering purchasing, including whether the vehicle was ever involved in an accident. Although dents can be removed and scratches repainted, consumers are not as willing to pay as much for a car involved in a collision.
Diminished value comes in three general forms:
- Immediate diminished value– Immediate diminished value is the difference in a vehicle’s resale value from before and after the accident, without any repairs.
- Repair-related diminished value– No repair is perfect, and any noticeable repair work hurts a vehicle’s overall value.
- Inherent diminished value –This is the most common form of diminished value because it relates to the loss in value of a vehicle because of the crash itself.
Diminished Value Laws in Alabama
Alabama recognizes diminished value as a compensable loss thanks to several Alabama Supreme Court rulings. The case of Robbins v. Voigt was one of the first to establish that a damaged car’s fair market value was different from a never-damaged vehicle. The case of King Motor Co. v Wilson also provided a legal precedent that damaged vehicles are worth less than vehicles that have never sustained damage. These cases laid the groundwork for diminished value claims in Alabama.
How to File a Diminished Value Claim in Alabama
Involved in an accident with a negligent driver? You may be able to file a diminished value claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You must prove:
- Another driver caused the collision
- The damage to your car was caused by the accident
- You have a car insurance policy as required by Alabama law
It may not be easy to calculate the diminished value of your vehicle. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to reduce the value of your claim to save money. Working with an attorney with experience handling these claims improves your chances of getting the full compensation you deserve.
Talk to Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Montgomery, AL Today
Recovering the diminished value of your vehicle isn’t always straightforward. You need the help that an experienced Alabama car accident attorney can provide. At Stokes Stemle, LLC, we know how to gather evidence to support your claim and fight to get you the fair diminished value compensation you are owed.